The Dancing Nun

I am about to make you sick...

The story of Ana Nobili a lap dancer turned nun is perhaps one of the most unusual religion stories doing the rounds at the moment. The Australian versions of the story in News Ltd publications are very short and focus on the drama of the facts without exploring either her conversion or her past. They are pretty much there to fill the odd and unusual angle.

Some of the British stories go into more depth. The BBC takes her quite seriously and tells more of the story of her conversion. “He is a God who dances not one who stands still,” she tells the BBC. The best coverage is from the London Daily Mail:

Sister Anna added: ‘I really liked my old life. I was at the centre of looks but then I realised I was throwing my life, my body and my sexuality away.

‘The nights were dark, they were filled with evil, with sex and with drugs.’

‘Now I use dance as a form of prayer – through dance I enter into harmony with the Word of God.’

‘I would dance nonstop in another disco. I would even go to places outside Milan, for example, Amsterdam, where I would stay for four or five days.

‘Then one day I went to Assisi and I was struck by how beautiful the sky was.

‘I saw something fluorescent within the clouds, a cascade of colour and I felt the presence of God, the Creator.

‘I started dancing and people were looking at me – I got on the train back to Milan and I felt as if God was in me.

‘It was such an emotional moment – when I looked at myself in the train toilet mirror I didn’t recognise myself.

‘It was a transfiguration – I danced in the club one more night and the men were just looking at me, trying to take me to bed and I knew that was my goodbye.

‘I called my boss and I said to him I found a new clean treasure and it was God.’

Interestingly the News Ltd accounts included an embedded YouTube video. It’s an interview in Italian –even in another language she is delightful and very engaging –and is bookended with dancing scenes the first ones from her disco days and at the end a very bizarre liturgical dance which ends with her sprawled on the floor with a crucifix.
I have not posted it here but you can watch it if you click here.

The monastery to which she was assigned has been closed down.

Pillar of salt.

While I do believe in conversion, and metanoia, this is not a turning away. It is simply a new venue. She does not show disinterestedness in her past, and so I can not take her seriously. We leave the world behind us when we covert, not bring it with us.

Her is a sister who left the world, here.


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